by Omar Mazariego

Most Gangsta Moments

(Honorable Mentions: Run DMC gets a street named after them; Perez Hilton gets chin checked by Black Eyed Peas; Etta James sh*t’s on Beyonce’s Inauguration performance; Heath Ledger wins the Oscar for his portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight)

5. Supreme Queen – Sonia Sotomayor is living proof that young Latina women needn’t look up to fugazy women like Jennifer Ho-please (I have my reasons) to be relevant or successful. This Boricua out of the Boogie Down embodies what immigrants envision for their children when they come to the U.S. She grew up in the hood of Soundview in the South Bronx, studied her ass off, went to Princeton University, graduated. Continued her education at Yale and got certified from there. Then she went on to put in some work for the law and in 1994 put an end to the baseball strike. (We love you for that, ma!) Her gangsta was finally recognized by President Obama when she was nominated for the Supreme Court, where she currently resides. Man listen! Is she single? Is she seeing anyone right now? I need a woman like that in my life. Straight out the hood, educated and about something. From the slums to the Supreme, the Sonia Sotomayor story is getting told to my daughters every night before going to sleep.

4. Ballin’ Outta Control Pt. 2 – Haters can say all that want about the Yankees buying a World Series title, but at the end of the day, it isn’t completely about money. It’s about brains AND money. The Yankees have had the highest payroll for the past decade and only have two rings to show for it. So whatchu sayin’?! Brian Cashman finally got it right. After a season filled with walk-off wins, pies, steroid scandals, Kate Hudson and record-breaking moments thanks to the Cap’n, Derek Jeter, it was all topped off with what NY fans have been waiting for, for the past 9 years: a World Series title. Now I’m a Yankees fan to heart, but I would like to see the Mets at least attempt to make big moves. Omar Minaya, you don’t even deserved to bear my name, but I digress. Now, I can honestly say I don’t expect the Yankees to take it all this year, but come next off-season, if they can sign Carl Crawford, Joe Mauer and Cliff Lee (making their payroll $250 million), then it’s pretty safe to say they’ll be taking home the next 4-7 World Series titles.

3. Ride the Coup – On June 28th the former President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, was arrested by his country’s military, put on a plane and flown to Costa Rica, being forced into exile. Why, you ask? Well, when your President—who’s best friends with Venezuelan dictator, Hugo Chavez—decides to tear up the constitution in order to get himself reelected as many times as he wants, against the wishes of his Congress and the Supreme Court; refuses to implement more than 100 laws that Congress passed and instead imposes laws that he wants; fires the chief of the military for not joining in on the corruption; as well as just a bunch of other suspect crap, gangsta sh*t happens. So that morning he awoke to armed soldiers in his home and “signed” his letter of resignation before being shipped off to the country with no military. Next thing you know the man who once spoke out against U.S. policies in Latin America to appease his BFF, Hugo Chavez, and was crying to Hilary Clinton to help him get his position of power back. She tried to help, but ultimately, there’s still a warrant for his arrest in Honduras and should he set one foot in the country he once led, he’ll be thrown in jail.

2. Cheetah – This muthaf*cka Tiger Woods had more Ho’s than a Chinese phone book (some might say he’s keeping it real with his roots); more Turkey Bacon (new term for white chicks in the hood) than Ghost Face Killah’s breakfast; more gold diggers than California in 1849. It began with a car crash but ended as a train wreck. It started innocently enough. After Cheetah crashed his whip into a tree, a police investigation into why he did that turned up a mistress. He’s famous, so he was bound to have a side dish. But then it was two and then three and four and five and before you know it, he had more shorties down with him than the LPA. But what killed me about everything was that none of those dust b*tches were hotter than his wife! And who breaks the player rule of leaving texts and messages saying your name?! He deserved to get bagged. Next thing you know, he started getting dropped from all his sponsors. Accenture (who the f*ck are they?!), AT&T, Tag Heuer, and that’s only the beginning so far. Tough luck. There’s always Fubu.

1. Presidential Inauguration – Not just a gangsta moment of 2009 but a historic one for all time. After all the talk and fear that Barack Obama wouldn’t live to set his right hand on the Bible and get sworn in, it happened, and I can testify that this was the only time in my life that me and my whole crew spoke on the Presidential Inauguration. There’s nothing like knowing you’re witnessing and are in fact a part of history. He delivered a good speech and had us believing that his intentions of a better tomorrow are sincere. Emotions were high and you could just feel a new beginning was and is on the horizon. Given, his first year hasn’t really been anything to write home about, but he still has 3 years to leave his mark and I’m willing to bet if the GOP would stop playing games, President Obama will get this country back on the right track and do for us what Auto-Tune did for T-Pain’s career.

Most Ungangsta Moments

(Dishonorable Mentions: Padre Alberto spot gets blown by his girlfriend; Bay Area cops kill Oscar Grant for no reason; The Mets entire season; Kanye bum-rushes Taylor Swift’s VMA moment; Perez Hilton gets rolled on by Black Eyed Peas; The whole Jon and Kate plus 8 f*ckery; Judge makes Nas pay Kelis $60,000 a month; Michael Jordan’s HOF speech; LL Cool J gets snubbed for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; A-Rod tested positive for Steroids, but comes clean.)

5. Sensitive Thugs Y’all All Need Hugs – When I read about Jim Jones and company jumping Ne Yo and Jigga’s homie, Ty-Ty’s little brother, at a Louis Vuitton, store all I could think about was that line from the Dave Chappelle/Rick James skit: “They should’ve never let y’all have money!” Here’s a “thug” who prides himself on being G’d up and pimped down, but his only real claims to fame are getting beat up by Junior Mafia (Brooklyn!!) in his own backyard (Rucker Park), and then laying the smack down on a young’n at a fashion store that was really only made for women and rich white men. And why are you even shopping at Louis Vuitton? Youse a one hit wonder who ain’t even go platinum. You better diversify ya bonds, homie! It’s cause of things like this that the hip-hop world doesn’t take NY rappers seriously anymore. For every Maino or Saigon who comes on the scene we have 8 Jim Jones, 5 Mims and a few Nicki Minaj’s taking away their shine with their mediocre, materialistic-driven bullsh*t. I bet the next time I read anything of substance about Jim Jones it’ll probably include the words “altercation” before ending with “at a Hello Kitty Shop.” For real man, next time you decide to throw down at a clothing store, at least let it be at a Dr. Jays or Jimmy Jazz.

4. All Glocks Down! – I don’t even know what to make of Gilbert Arenas at this point. They say while in the Wizards locker room, he laid down four pieces of toast on a chair and told his teammate Javaris Crittenton, “Pick one,” as if to say, “That’s the one you’re gonna get clapped with.” All over a few thousand dollars. I mean, Big said “Either ya slingin’ crack rock or you got a wicked jumpshot,” and lucky for Agent Zero he’s been blessed with the latter, but he’s in the locker room acting like he’s holding down the corner from crill competitors. He’s getting paid $100 million to shoot the ball, not his teammates. I hate on heads like him cause me and the homies are still in the hood (Brooklyn!) struggling to keep our heads above water in this recession, and here’s a multi-millionaire pulling cannons, acting like he’s on the block with us. Give me Gilbert money and word to everything I love I’ll walk barefoot to Mordor itself and throw my burner in that lava and live happily ever after.

3. Show You What I Learned From Ike – In no way, shape or form do I condone putting your hands on a woman. Now, when the news broke about Chris Breezy beating on Rihanna the way Khloe Kardashian beat a “Pre-nup” out of Lamar Odom, it was rumored that the reason he did it was because she gave him that magical gift that keeps on giving. I’ve always said, “I’ll take anything free as long as it’s not a STD.” It’s one thing to get crabs or the clap cause they’re both treatable and more importantly, curable. But like my dunn Darby said, “I’ll kill the b*tch that gives me general herpes.” (Darby’s damn near 30 years old by the way and he thought general herpes was the soldier strain of the STD as opposed to your everyday worker herpes.) But then it was said that Chris beat her down for other reasons, and he cheated on her and she hit him first so he hit her back, but he never mentioned anything about STD’s. So for that, he gets two thumbs down like Will Ferrell’s “Western grip handjob.”

2. ICE Cold – A man walks into an immigration center in Binghamton, NY packing a .45 and .9, and simply opens fire. Having blocked the back door with a car, the people in the place are left with nowhere to run, thus leaving 12 families to mourn their lost loved ones. Does it become a tragedy or receive any national attention? Maybe if one of the immigrants had 8 kids…oh wait, they probably did. I take things like this to heart cause my parents are immigrants from El Salvador, and anything immigrant related that’s unjust and overlooked strikes a chord with me. I got mad love for Obama and respect what he’s accomplished and what he’s doing, but that immigration reform he promised to look into has been a non-issue so far. And from what I read and see in the Spanish news, more immigrants have been deported in ’09 than in ’08. One-hundred-and-fifty children whose parents were about to be deported sued President Obama in hopes of keeping their parents here and avoiding foster care, and that doesn’t make headlines? Nope. It’s probably because we have bigger issues at hand like Americans pulling hoaxes with their children and chickenheads giving birth to 8 kids while an Asian dude and white chick who are raising another 8 are going through a divorce. Maybe if those immigrant’s kids flew away on a balloon—oh wait, that’s the plan.

1. The Death of Michael Jackson – Even though there was always that black cloud of pedophilic doubt over him, Michael Jackson was still the biggest star on earth. The music he created from childhood to his adult years was timeless and the true definition of classic. When I found out that Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest, I couldn’t help but feel sad for him. Not sad that he died, but sad for the life he lived. In a lot of ways he was the epitome of self-hate, what with all the skin bleaching, nose reconstruction and hair care; you could tell Mike literally wasn’t comfortable in his own skin. Whether that was a result of “Father or The Year” Joe Jackson’s parenting or just the price of fame claiming his entire childhood, the man never seemed to be, well, a man. He was like a real-life Peter Pan, a lost boy who spent his life looking for his own identity while trying to keep up with his own shadow. It was the ultimate gift and curse. All the talent, money and fame in the world, but he was probably as miserable as can be behind the whole façade. He was loved by many, hated by few but will be remembered by all. R.I.P. Michael Jackson. There’s probably a hell of a concert in heaven right now. Mike, Teddy, Marvin, Big, Pac, Pun. Almost want somebody to punch my ticket. Next time I play cee-lo down the block, I’ma invite Gilbert Arenas.